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I made a mistake, I did something really silly the other day just because I wasn’t paying attention. I broke my foot. Badly.

I was driving my motorbike to a shopping centre to buy a few things and because motorbikes are not normally allowed in a lot of underground carparks or are simply not catered for as the barriers won’t lift for bikes we are advised to go in through a certain route, i.e. between some wooden posts, large enough for people and pushchairs etc to get through and large enough supposedly for motorbikes to get through too.

One problem is that they are on one side of the exit path where the cars come out so you have to judge it so that you can aim for them when there are no people and no cars.

wooden posts parking

So there is always (for me anyway) a little pressure, and I think it is this pressure that made me too aware of not being run over by exiting cars and making sure I didn’t clip the posts either with my exhausts or whatever.

I was too busy being aware of other things happening around me and I paid too little attention to the gap I was trying to go through. In actual fact I am not clear at all on the details of what happened exactly, all I remember is that my foot must have clipped the left post and all I can really remember is staring at my crumpled foot thinking fuck, fuck, fuck, not again, how could I be so stupid, did this really just happen? What the fuck happened? Grace will go mad? I can’t have this happen to me now? How will I get home? What about the bike? Did I break the ankle again? What happens now? So many things raced through my head.

I managed, somehow, to put the gear into neutral with my bad foot, kick the side-stand down and prop the bike up while I fell to the ground in agony, yes, the pain had started to kick in finally.

My head raced again, I felt really silly for being on the floor, but justified as I had broken my foot. People did stop and ask me if I was OK and I nonchalantly answered, yes thank I have everything under control (hardly), but yeah, what else do you do or say?

I first had to call Grace, she was my first thought, It was part confession, part just telling her what had happened. I knew she would be both worried and pissed off when it sunk in, so I got that over with first. I also knew she would understand me.

I then thought about the bike? I couldn’t just leave it there so I rang my bike shop but they couldn’t help as they were involved in an event that day (that I had also intended on attending), so they suggested the Insurance company, luckily I had taken out breakdown insurance. But that didn’t help, as the bike was undamaged they couldn’t help me, only the bike was covered, not me. So, to plan C, I finally managed to get hold of a neighbour and friend of mine who also rode a big bike and luckily he was available and came to the rescue. He agreed to come and take the bike home for me.

All the while this was going on, people were passing by, some just looking at me, wondering if they should say anything and others who did. Thank you to everyone who asked if they could help. I sort of felt in control, so I just thanked them and carried on laying there.

Eventually grace turned up with  the kids and made a fuss of me, then my mate turned up with his wife, I passed him my keys and related the story for the first of many many times (hence this post actually). Another woman turned up and wouldn’t take no for an answer and called for an Ambulance, I had intended in getting my wife to take me in the car (I am so stubborn sometimes).

The ambulance turned up rather quickly and so off to the nearest hospital I went with my wife following, luckily it is only 5 minutes away from where I fell. The bike was safe, everything was going to be OK.

Upon arrival at the hospital it was time to take a look.

It felt bad, and was really swollen and the toes didn’t look quite right, but it was the x-ray that showed the real damage:

 

Bruised and swollen, already turning yellow and blue, lots of internal bleeding The image is reversed for some reason but you can easily see the major crack(s) and the dislocated/broken toes.
 foot image 1 saturday on arrival at hospital  foot image 1 saturday on arrival at hospital x-ray

Step 1 was to stablise the foot. I finally got taken down for surgery at 2 am in the morning where two very chatty and friendly anaesthetists talked me through the different options;

  1. Putting my leg to sleep via a fairly new procedure done by freezing the nerves in the groin and under the knee. Main advantages are the area remains asleep for 20 hours post op and is least intrusive – lowest risk
  2. A classic spinal epidural anaesthesia, again, lower risk than total anaesthesia, but lose control of entire bottom half of body, but for shorter period than option 1
  3. Total anaesthesia with all the associated risks

Luckily option 1 worked for me and with the latest scanner techniques they were able to guide the needles directly to the right spot, right by the nerve and main vein to the leg. And again behind the knee, they were able to guide the needle to the exact spot right by the main nerve. The leg was asleep before I was.

I then had to wait for the surgeons until 4 am in the morning. I was totally wake for the entire procedure with just a green sheet over my stomach so I could not see anything, but I could certainly feel pressure as they moved my leg around and hear all the ghastly noises as they drilled and manipulated my leg and foot trying to straighten things out.

I don’t yet have pictures of the post-operation x-rays, but I could see them on the machine, there are now kebab sticks holding the toes in place and some screws apparently.

I spent a couple of days recovering taking a lot of pills and being checked on by some lovely nurses 24 hrs a day, I even had a couple of bed baths. Peeing into a bottle is not easy nor possible to do discreetly, but it has to be done. I was under strict orders not to put any weight on my foot even by accident as it is still broken and is being held together by sticks and a part cast because of the swelling.

 

Resting foot Baxter shadow

Sad toes

 foot in bed  drip bag  sad toes

I finally got the papers to go home with all the paperwork needed for my own doctor, all the prescriptions medicine I would need, and so on. Now to adapt to home life downstairs, living on the sofa. A friend of mine organised a wheelchair so I am not stuck on the sofa or struggling with crutches (that I still had from the last time I broke my ankle).

It’s hard, it’s been emotional, I am not looking forward to the next operation to fix the rest (possibly two ops?  – let’s hope not). It puts an extra strain on the family, friends, and me, but we will adapt, and come through this ordeal. I have a lot of empowering and positive friends that have said that I now have the time to write, read, organise, rethink my tactics, get ready for the re-launch and carry on regardless.

There’s more, but I need to sort out my head a bit

 

With love

 

Andy

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